10th Tevet (Jewish mourning day): destruction of First Temple

On Asarah B'Tevet, the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tevet, in the year 3336 from Creation (425 before the beginning of the common era), the armies of the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. Thirty months later - on 9 Tammuz 3338 - the city walls were broken and on 9 Av of that year the Holy Temple was destroyed. The Jewish people were exiled to Babylon for 70 years. The siege of Jerusalem is characterized - and celebrated every year as a public fast day - as the event that started the downward spiral toward the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the exile of the Jewish people. The actual process, however, began when the Jews strayed from Gd long before the siege of Jerusalem. The Asarah B'Tevet is perceived as a day of fasting, mourning and repentance.

The Holy Temple

The Holy Temple, built by King Solomon, stood by the grace of the dedication of Jews to the Torah and his mitzvot (obligations). Three times a year every Jew made a pilgrimage to the Temple during Passover, Shavuot and Sukot. But the Jews, and especially their kings, did not all adhere to the mitzvot. Despite warnings from prophets, the Jews remained disobedient.

Judea on the downward path

King Josia appointed his second son Jehoahaz as his successor. He remained king for only three months when the Egyptians deposed him and replaced him with his brother Eliakim who changed his name to Joiakim. He did not comply with the Torah laws and had the population pay heavy taxes. Jeremiah the prophet warned him. But the prophet fell victim to public ridicule. He was even put in prison.
Meanwhile, Nebuchadnezzar, at the head of a large army, came to the land of Israel. The king and the people were determined to fight against them, despite Jeremiah's pleas that opposition to the Babylonians would be a disaster.

Joiakim dethroned by Nebuchadnezzar

Joiakim rebelled against the Babylonians together with the Egyptians. He lost and was captured. He died in captivity. His son Jehoiachin succeeded him. Jerusalem came under Babylonian siege. Jehoiachin extradited himself with his mother and important officers. Nebuchadnezzar plundered the Temple and took ten thousand prisoners. Only the poorest were left behind. Zedekiah became king over them.

Temple mount in Jerusalem

Legend
a. Temple Mount where the Jewish Temple once stood and in the future the Third Temple will stand
B. Western Wall of the Jewish Temple. The only part of the Temple that has survived

Zedekia's rebellion

Zedekiah also rebelled against the Babylonians. He did not listen to Jeremiah. Again Nebuchadnezzar came to crush the rebellion. On the 10th Tevet of the year 3336, Jerusalem came under siege. Zedekiah asked Jeremiah to pray to Gd, but he said that the fate of Jerusalem was already sealed. Only if they submitted to the Babylonians would they be spared. Zedekiah did not do this. Jeremiah was even imprisoned again and later thrown into a well. After Jeremiah was taken out of the well by Zedekiah and Jeremiah again requested a Divine message, Jeremiah told him that Zedekiah must surrender. Zedekiah did not do this.

Conquest Jerusalem

In the eleventh year of Zedekiah's administration, on the 17th Tammuz, after a 2.5-year siege with hunger and disease, a breach was made in the walls of Jerusalem. The king tried to flee, but he was captured and taken to Nebuchadnezzar. There the king saw how his sons and many Jewish princesses were killed; then his eyes were extended and he was chained.

Nebuchadnezzar destroys Jerusalem

The destruction of Jerusalem began on the seventh day of Aaw. The walls of the city were torn down and the royal palace and other buildings went up in flames. On the ninth of Aaw (Tish'a Beaaw), towards the evening, the Holy Temple was set on fire and destroyed. Everything of gold and silver that was left was carried away by the Babylonian soldiers. All art was destroyed or taken away. Many priests were killed. Thousands of people were taken away. Only the poor were left behind. They were allowed to work on the vineyards and the fields. Gedalia, a good acquaintance of Jeremiah, became governor of the city.
Jeremiah was released from prison. He was given the choice of whether to stay or be taken to Babylon. Jeremiah remained.

In exile

So the kingdom of David and Solomon ended; the beautiful city and the Holy Temple were destroyed. Gd punished His people for leaving Him. This was all predicted in the Torah. Moses had warned about this. Yet Gd kept his Covenant with the People of Israel and another prophecy from Moses came true. This prophecy was remembered by the Jews in exile and eased the burden of their suffering: "And yet when they are in of their enemies, I will not send them away, nor will I destroy them altogether and break My Covenant with them; for I am the Eternal, their G'd. And I will remember the Covenant of their ancestors , which I brought from the land of Egypt. "

Video: Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz - The Tenth of Tevet (April 2020).

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